Tag

holiday

December 14, 2022

4 Practical Tips for a Peaceful Christmas

The days before Christmas are quickly slipping away. If you’re feeling a crushing sense of overwhelm at everything left to do before now and then, take a deep breath. Grab something warm to drink, and cozy up for some words of encouragement and practical tips before you launch into frenzied action.

We could never outdo Zechariah’s Canticle when he proclaims in the first chapter of Luke, “…through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

It is right to long for peace, to want to shut out the noise around you, and just sit with your family and revel in awe of the fact that God is with us, that a Savior is born, that “a weary world rejoices.”

You want to stay focused on what matters most. But with a hundred things on the to-do list, it’s can be difficult to transpose the message of “peace on earth” to “peace within.” Here are some practical tips you can utilize today to step out of your frenzied hurry and into the stillness of peace.​

Practical Tips to Cultivate Peace This Week

  • Declutter your brain. You cannot expect to have the space to relax if your brain has a hundred tabs open and trying to load all at once. Get every single task and detail that’s weighing on your mind down on paper. And then sort them according to their priority. What absolutely has to happen? What is important, but not essential? What is fun, but not important? Having absolute clarity on the things that are most essential, will automatically bring a sense of peace to your to-do list. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed and have some time to commit to really sorting through the overwhelm, it could be a great week to download our Taming Your To-Do List Guide (use the code TAMETHATLIST to get this resource for free). One evening of coming to grips with your list may be just the ticket to a peaceful week leading up to Christmas.
  • Envision what you really want this Christmas. Be specific. It helps to journal this out in the flex space of your planner, incorporating and highlighting core value words in your description. Here are some ideas: reverent, calm, cozy, mindful, delightful, deep, warm, centered, focused, together, anticipation, hope.
  • Be willing to cut the nonessential. If your vision is a festive and delicious Christmas dinner—stressing yourself out to add variety to your cookie selection will minimally add to the warmth of togetherness. In fact, it could actually be counterproductive as you will struggle to have the presence of mind to relax and infuse peace into your family’s dinner with your own still spirit. The idea that the host has to be stressed out of her mind every Christmas as she slaves to make everything flawless is a LIE. Your family needs your joy more than they need a Pinterest-perfect dinner. Ruthlessly edit your to-do list so that you can show up for what’s truly essential this week.
  • Take moments to be still. When you feel your stress levels rising, don’t just push through. Take a deep breath and remember Who this season is all about! Jesus welcomed Mary to sit at His feet, even while Martha was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. It’s so tempting to say, “I’ll find my center in Christ after _____.” That doesn’t have to be your story this Christmas season. Christ came for you to lay down your burdens, too. He’s not worried if you forgot to order your Advent calendar in time, or if your kids have their matching pajamas clean on Christmas morning. So every time you feel your Martha coming on, choose a Mary moment. Take a long drink of water, settle the kids, and then take a moment by yourself to just Abide. Don’t get on Instagram, but instead set a timer for 5 minutes. Put on a playlist that ministers to you. Breathe deeply, keep your eyes closed, and lean into a conversation with God until the timer goes off. It doesn’t take much to recenter on what matters—but it does take intention.

Christmas is eleven days away. That’s eleven days to cultivate peace in your home. Eleven days to knock out the essential things and let the rest fall away. Eleven days to prepare to celebrate the greatest moment the world has ever known.

December 22, 2021

Why We’re Taking This Week Off

If you’ve been following us for long, you know that we are passionate about encouraging and empowering women to craft lifestyles that fuel their most life-giving goals. Culture likes to tell us that we can either have a thriving business or be home-loving women, but not both. We simply don’t buy this. We believe we can honor the business responsibilities we’ve been given, and also serve our families by being fully present, especially this Christmas week.

That’s why this year we’ve decided to shut things down and take the next week off business activities so we don’t have the pressure of being on our phones, pulling out our laptops, or cramming in work blocks into our holiday plans. Instead, we’re going to cozy up with our families, slow down to soak in the goodness of the season, and fully celebrate the joy of the birth of Christ.

What does “off” mean?

  • The shop is still open! You can place orders at any time, but those orders won’t be packed up and shipped until Tuesday, December 28th.
  • We won’t be checking our inboxes regularly. If you’ve interacted with us, you know we place a high value on serving our customers well. If there is any issue with a product, we will make it right. If you have a question, we want to give you answers. But, we won’t be checking our inboxes and responding until Tuesday, December 28th.
  • Instagram will be pretty quiet. We want to be off our phones, and focused on our loved ones this week (don’t we all?)! We may pop on to share some holiday cheer, but otherwise things will be pretty quiet.

As we head toward Christmas, we find ourselves so incredibly thankful for how the business has grown this year. Thank you for all the ways you have supported us in 2021! You all have really blown us away this holiday season. We are so grateful we can take a week off to be with our families, and encourage you to do the same.

We wish you and your family the Merriest Christmas!

December 15, 2021

Cultivating Peace Amidst Holiday To-Do’s

Christmas is ten. days. away. If you’re feeling a crushing sense of overwhelm at everything left to do before now and then, take a deep breath. Grab something warm to drink, and cozy up for some words of encouragement and practical tips before you launch into frenzied action.

We could never outdo Isaiah 9:6-7 or Luke 1:46-55 in an attempt to explain how incredible the Incarnation has been to world history. It is fitting that a celebration of Christ’s birth is a day with so much focus every year. God with us. It’s a profound thought. A revolution. The Light entering the darkness of history and chasing away sin and death “far as the curse is found.” It’s phenomenal.

You want to stay focused on what matters most. But with a hundred things on the to-do list, it’s kind of difficult to transpose the message of “peace on earth” to “peace within.” Here are some tips you can utilize today to step out of your frazzled hurry and into stillness of spirit.​

Practical Tips to Cultivate Peace This Week

  • Declutter your brain. You cannot expect to have the space to relax if your brain has a hundred tabs open and trying to load all at once. Get every single task and detail that’s weighing on your mind down on paper. And then sort them according to their priority. What absolutely has to happen? What is important, but not essential? What is fun, but not important? Having absolute clarity on the things that are most essential, will automatically bring a sense of peace to your to-do list.
  • Envision what you really want this Christmas. Be specific. It helps to journal this out in the flex space of your planner, incorporating and highlighting core value words in your description. Here are some ideas: reverent, calm, cozy, mindful, communion, delight, deep, warm, centered, focused, together, anticipation, hope.
  • Be willing to cut the nonessential. If your vision is a festive and delicious Christmas dinner—stressing yourself out to add variety to your cookie selection will minimally add to the warmth of togetherness. In fact, it could actually be counterproductive as you will struggle to have the presence of mind to relax and infuse peace into your family’s dinner with your own still spirit. The idea that the host has to be stressed out of her mind every Christmas as she slaves to make everything flawless is a LIE. Your family needs your joy more than they need a Pinterest-perfect dinner. Ruthlessly edit your to-do list so that you can show up for what’s truly essential this week.
  • Take stillness moments. When you feel your stress levels rising, don’t just push through. Take a deep breath and remember Who this week is all about! Jesus welcomed Mary to sit at His feet, even while Martha was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. It’s so tempting to say, “I’ll find my center in Christ after _____.” That doesn’t have to be your story this Christmas season. Christ came for you to lay down your burdens, too. He’s not worried if you forgot to order your Advent calendar in time, or if your kids have their matching pajamas clean on Christmas morning. So every time you feel your Martha coming on, choose a Mary moment. Take a long drink of water, settle the kids, and then take a moment by yourself to just Abide. Don’t get on Instagram, but instead set a timer for 5 minutes. Put on a playlist that ministers to you. Breathe deeply, keep your eyes closed, and lean into a conversation with God until the timer goes off. It doesn’t take much to recenter on what matters—but it does take intention.

Christmas is ten days away. That’s ten days to cultivate peace in your home. Ten days to knock out the essential things and let the rest fall away. Ten days to prepare to celebrate the greatest moment the world has ever known.

_____________________________________________________

Need a tool to help you plan the holiday season effectively? Our free day planner is a great way to help you get out of your head, sort your priorities, and let everything else fall away.

December 1, 2021

Planning Seasonal Celebrations that Don’t Overwhelm

December is upon us and with it comes a flood of expectations we (+ perhaps others) place on ourselves.

“This will be the best year yet. We’ll do an Advent calendar… bake Christmas cookies… and attend all the gatherings, celebrations and service projects – let’s do this! We have shoeboxes to pack, stockings to stuff, lights to hang, and presents to wrap!”

It all starts from a good place – wanting our homes and hearts to reflect the seasons and all it means. But it can very quickly devolve into chaos as our seasonal bucket list turns into the world’s longest holiday to-do list. It can become easy to go from a cozy Christmas craft to full on mayhem as glitter flies about the house, our children run around like goblins, and we sit in the middle of the mess and wonder where it all went wrong.

Below are a few simple tips that can help you head into December full of Christmas cheer, while avoiding that crushing sense of overwhelm.

How to Avoid Seasonal Overwhelm

  1. Do it in your own unique style. Take some time to evaluate what you and your family need this season. Do your kids long for family adventures and you know planning some special outings with them would fill their love-tanks more than any gift could? Or do you think taking things slow, planning some cozy read alouds, early bedtimes and quiet evenings by the Christmas tree would better serve your family? Are you ready and excited to take on hosting the extended family and going all out? Or do you need to be honest with family members about your need to pull back, rest and take advantage of pre-made food? Moving into December in your own unique style means honoring whatever season you’re in. It means prioritizing the things that are life-giving for you and your family, and letting the unimportant things fall to the side. It means shedding unfair expectations, and doing what you know is best for this year, whatever that looks like for you and your family.
  2. Anchor your holiday celebrations to existing rhythms. Filling December with intentional celebrations is wonderful, but trying to do every meaningful or fun thing at once will quickly lead to overwhelm. Anchoring holiday celebrations to already existing rhythms is a great way to incorporate new traditions easily. Last year my family had tremendous success with anchoring our major celebrations on Sundays. Sundays were already our family rest and fun days, and by batching our celebrations on one day of the week, we were able to have wonderful times together without the pressure of making every day in December amazing and memorable. Throughout the week we had our seasonal music, and a simple Advent reading we did as a family, but we let the big celebrations such as special treats, getting our tree, looking at lights, decorating our tree, etc. fall on Sundays. December felt incredibly fun for us, and instead of being run ragged by all the celebrations, we entered Christmas week rested and full of joy and anticipation.
  3. Be okay with saying “no”. Not every Christmas tradition, fun activity or party is going to be right for your family. Saying “no” doesn’t make you a grinch, it makes you intentional. You may need to pass on fun activities in order the preserve a sense of calm in December. You may have to put a cap on how many parties your family attends. You may have to limit how much sugar you let your kids consume. Remember that doing less, does not mean you will have a less memorable holiday season. Instead, you’ll be able to sustain your sense of cheer all the way to and through Christmas, rather than falling to pieces mid-December. Choosing your activities purposefully enables you to do those things really well, in a way that will bring joy to you and your family.
  4. Take notes for next year. At the end of December (or even throughout the month), take notes on what is going well and what you would do differently. Last year I wrote down a short list of what worked really well (such as anchoring our traditions to Sundays), and what I wanted to adjust or add for this year. I paper clipped the note to my December page in my Annual, and it has sat there all year (with the additions of some lovely pen scribbles from my 2 year old). Eleven months later I just pulled it out and read through it, and feel as if half the planning I need to do for this season is already complete.

It actually is possible that this could be the best year yet. But that can only happen if you take a step back and determine what matters most to you at the start. Once you have realized what will bring the most joy to your family this year, you can move through December with confidence, knowing that you are creating a fun holiday season for your family with each activity you choose to do.

_____________________________________________________

Need a tool to help you plan the holiday season effectively? Our free day planner is a great way to help you get out of your head, sort your priorities, and let everything else fall away.